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Article Marketing Strategies: Using Google’s Wonder Wheel In Keyword Research
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[As an update, it appears that as of July 2011 Google's Wonder Wheel is no longer operational.]

For the last few post we’ve been covering some basic keyword research tactics.

We’ve already gone over how to assess the supply and demand for keywords using Google’s own keyword tool and the data from their search engine results pages (SERPs).

And last time we talked about how to research long-tail keyword terms. Hopefully by now you’re starting to get your bearings when it comes to keywords.

This time I want to share something really cool with you. It’s a free tool from Google that you may have never realized was there.

It’s Google’s ‘Wonder Wheel’…

There may be some great keywords out there for your niche, but you just don’t know what they are. You start from where you are –do research on words that you know are associated with your niche.

In the last few posts we covered examples from the “dog training” niche. From researching phrases in Google’s keyword tool, we found lot of other possible keywords to add to our list that we didn’t even think of before.

When you’re doing your keyword research you will want to research different keywords that are closely related in meaning. That’s where Google’s ‘Wonder Wheel’ technology comes in…

To access this tool, look for the link on the left hand side of Google’s results pages. It’s easy to miss it if you aren’t looking for it.

That is what the left side of my screen looks like when I am searching for “dog training” in Google.

I click on the ‘Wonder wheel’ link, and this is what comes up next:

Pretty cool, huh? You can then click through on any of the results brought back to go deeper. For example, clicking on ‘dog obedience training’ brings back the following:

See how the Wonder Wheel is giving very specific information for related phrases?

This is a great tool to use when doing keyword research.

Another Google Keyword Research Tip: Use the tilda character ~

The tilda character looks like this ~. That character is on your keyboard, but you probably don’t use it that much.

For these posts, I’m using “dog training” as the subject of my keyword research. I go to Google’s search box (just the regular search box at, and I type in: ~training

So, the tilda character followed by the word I’m searching for.

Here is what comes up:

Why is this useful?

You can use this tool to do further keyword research. One of my keywords was ‘dog training’. I just did a tilda search for the word ‘training’ and discovered that Google associates the word “education” very closely with the word “training”. I could then add “dog education” to my list of keywords.

Searches done with the tilda character also help you understand which keywords Google considers to be semantically related.

If You’d Like Something Easier…

It’s kind of interesting to explore all of these free tools that Google offers, and it’s a great way to get your feet wet when you’re just starting to do keyword research. I actually like dealing with the raw data lots of times, but just so you know, there are easier ways to do keyword research.

For example, WordTracker is an excellent keyword research tool that will do a lot of this work for you. They will even provide you with what they call a KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) for each keyword, indicating the potential that each keyword has.

As of the time that this post was written, WordTracker is offering a free trial, so you might find it worthwhile to check it out. They also have excellent resources on effective keyword research, finding profitable niches, etc. You can check it out here.

Note: Links provided here for Wordtracker are affiliate links, and I’d stand to gain a small commission should you decide to purchase their paid-for services. If however you’d prefer not to go through my affiliate link, you can just go direct to, it’s entirely up to you.

NOTE: Please be aware this content may now be outdated. For the latest quality content on how to build massive publicity for your website, please go to The vWriter Blog - Helping Businesses Grow Traffic, Build Engagement, and "Be Everywhere"

16 Responses to “Article Marketing Strategies: Using Google’s Wonder Wheel In Keyword Research”

  1. Great informative and timely article Steve. I have just been researching for long tail keywords for my article marketing.



  2. Mark Demers says:

    Wow you just blew me away . All these tools and i never knew what they were used for or for that matter didn`t know they existed .
    Excellent post . I`m looking forward to your next post.
    Every post has been extremely informative to me and i must say thank you.
    You explain things so they are easily understood .
    The tilda character has been there, i`ve seen it there but never used it – until now – thats for sure.
    Thanks again.

    Have a Great Day !

    Mark D.

  3. Nice post Steve,

    The wonder wheel is one of my favorite tools and it seems to work for me only when I use Firefox. It doesn’t work in Internet Explorer and I am wondering if anyone else is experiencing the same.

    By the way if you use some of the wonder wheel keywords in your post it is also very effective to use your main keyword and one of the wonder wheel keywords in your post description preferably towards the beginning. Will really help in your SEO as well as click throughs for relevancy.

    All the best,

    Marco :)

  4. Steve Shaw says:

    @Mark Demers: Hi Mark,

    You are very welcome. So glad you’ve found this useful.

    Enjoy your weekend,

  5. Steve Shaw says:

    @Marco Carbajo: Thank you Marco–you make an excellent point. Thanks for sharing that tip. :)

  6. @Walter Gemmell:
    I have run a check on keywords – but how and where do we use all these subsidiary keyword-phrases in our articles?


  7. Cathy says:

    Wow… this post is really hellpful!

  8. Thanks Steve: You always provide great “meaty” content.


  9. Wow…..thanks so much for this introduction to the Google Wonder Wheel, Steve. This is a great tool for researching keywords and related words. I have already spent some time with interesting results. It will become a much used part of my keyword tools.

    I didn’t get the list on the left when I got my results though. Would this be because I wasn’t personally logged into Adwords? I use it a lot but don’t login.

    However it was easy enough to find via a Google search.I also like your article on Long Tail words. Some excellent tips there too.

    Many Thanks, Gail

  10. Good one, Steve. the “wonder wheel” has been around for awhile but it is probably the most under-utilized of Google’s tools. I think it is their attempt to show semantically related keywords as well as related terms. Very good stuff for folks to use as ‘alternate’ keywords in an article to prevent being penalized for keyword stuffing while increasing relevancy.
    Chris in Hilo

  11. Each time, you really know how to answer the most asked question among the newbies…though I am NOT a newbie…your posts definitely help!

  12. Wow, you learn something new each day. Didn’t even know the wonder wheel existed and I will definitely try it out next time I do keyword research.

  13. I love the wonder wheel – but the tilda in search is brand new to me. Thanks especially for that fantastic tip!

    Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady

  14. Great tips. I guess the learning curve for Internet marketing just doesn’t level off.
    John Chartrand

  15. Meg says:

    FYI – the Google Wonder Wheel is gone. I couldn’t find it so I did a general search and found several articles about its closing, which I guess was in July 2011. Here’s a link to Search Engine Land’s article about it:

    I didn’t know about the ~ for searches but now that I do I’ll be trying it out. Thanks for the tip.

  16. Steve Shaw says:

    @Meg: Thanks for the update Meg.

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